A plan to build flats on Long Lane pastures in Finchley is going to be fought tooth and nail by residents and representative groups.

Opposition groups including the Finchley Society and Finchley Church End's Local Agenda 21 (LA21) group are meeting tonight at Avenue House.

They will be discussing a strategy to fight Fairview's plans to build 97 flats on an area that is rich in wildlife, as well as being the last greenfield site in the area.

Opponents of the scheme also argue that the proposed development breaks the council's own planning policies as outlined in its Unitary Development Plan as well as Government policy by building on a greenfield site.

Fairview Homes have agreed an option with Barnet Council to purchase the land, subject to planning permission.

If the council does not grant permission, the borough's coffers would lose out on an estimated £2.6million.

The developers have already bought the only access to the site, a derelict garage, for £400,000.

Campaigners believe that the council has already made up its mind to sell the land, as it would not be in its interest to refuse the planning permission.

Frank Derrett, secretary of the adjoining Pointalls and District Allotments said: "Without the garage site, the land is land-locked. It's the cork in the bottle. Without it, it's just a piece of land that no one can get on."